What counts as wages in a work injury (non-workers’ comp) claim?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2023 | Work Injuries

If you are a New York resident who has suffered an accident that was not your fault and have lost income during the recovery process, you have a right to receive reimbursement. You can recover lost wages through a personal injury claim against the at-fault party or your auto insurance policy’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.

What qualifies as lost wages?

If work injuries (not workers’ comp) prevent you from working, you can still seek reimbursement through a personal injury claim. When calculating your lost wages and benefits, you must know what lost wages include. Lost wages do not only encompass the money you earn from working, but they also represent the total income you would have earned if you did not become injured. That includes your overtime or bonus pay you might have also received.

Accurate record-keeping

To get reimbursement for lost wages, it is essential to keep detailed and accurate records to justify your lost wages to the insurance company. You will need income proof, such as pay stubs. However, these only provide a partial picture of your wages. Ask your boss or human resources for written documentation of your pay and benefits, such as your typical hourly or salaried pay, overtime or your average hours worked per week, lost commissions or promotions due to your time out of work and vacation, bonus or sick time you used while you recovered.

Ensure you notify your employer immediately after you become injured and provide any documentation they require, such as a doctor’s note stating that you cannot perform work duties. Without a doctor’s notice or “work slip,” a work injury claim might not be able to get an insurance company to reimburse you for time off work due to your injuries. Inform the doctor that you need a detailed medical narrative regarding your diagnosis, injuries, the amount of time you need to be off work and why.

Loss of future earnings

You may need to negotiate with your employer and the insurance company to receive a fair settlement for your lost wages. Suppose you sustained severe injuries that have become disabling or permanent. In that situation, you can secure further compensation based on actuarial data to forecast your lifetime work expectancy, your history of earnings, training and education before the injury and your ability to learn a new trade.

You should receive reimbursement for your financial losses if you have missed out on significant income or lost your livelihood due to someone else’s negligence. Proper documentation and support from a lawyer can increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.